• The Coffee Break
  • Posts
  • ☕️ Fahmi Fadzil to meet mobile operators over 5G surcharge

☕️ Fahmi Fadzil to meet mobile operators over 5G surcharge

TNB holds back against IRB's claims of RM3.97 bil tax assessment. Thailand welcomes two PMs - one new, another one to jail. SoftBank eyeing USD70 bil valuation for Arm.


Vehicle sales in July climbed by 28% to 63,676 units compared to 49,934 units last year. This increase is attributed to the normalisation of automotive supply chains and the fulfilment of bookings for recently launched new models. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) reported that the total industry volume (TIV) for July 2023 was 1.7% higher than June 2023 (which stood at 62,593 units), showcasing the ongoing upward trend in vehicle sales.

13,000 taxpayers, consisting of individuals and corporates, have participated in the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP), contributing RM100 mil to clear outstanding taxes. Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan encouraged those with arrears to settle their payments promptly to avoid any complications. The ministry has a high target under the SVDP — 50,000 taxpayers and RM1 bil target. There are still about 10 months left to hit that goal.

Around 30,000 households are under evacuation orders in Canada’s British Columbia province due to almost 400 active wildfires. Canada is currently experiencing its most severe wildfire season ever, with over 1,000 fires raging across the country, as reported by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).

A BBC chart titled "Canada wildfires are worst than previous years" shows that close to 15m hectares have been burned in 2023 already, compared to the previous high of around 4.5m in 2021 and 2017. The numbers for 2018, 2019, 2022, 2016 and 2020 are far lower

In collaboration with NextUp Asia

Knowing how to value a company tends to be a black box for most business owners. Is your company worth RM1 mil or RM10 mil? There’s a whole range of quantitative and qualitative methods to arrive at both ends of the valuations.

The folks at Nextup Asia are hosting a talk on the art of valuation from an investor’s perspective. Hear and learn from Jet Lim, founding partner of investment firm 5X Capital. Get your tickets here.


Home Ministry defends itself in the name of “public complaints”

  1. Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said some had complained about the Swatch products celebrating LGBT rights, leading to his ministry’s seizure of the 172 products from the 11 Swatch stores. Saifuddin added that the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984 is under the purview of his ministry’s enforcement and control.

  2. Remember the two books that were also seized from a bookstore in Kuala Lumpur under the law? The Home Minister said it was for the purpose of research and review of the contents. He could have just bought the books and contributed to the country’s GDP. Apparently, the “seizure” was also due to public complaints. The ministry promises to return the books if an investigation by the ministry finds no illegal elements.

One needs special permission to receive wages via cash or chequeHuman Resources Minister V. Sivakumar urges employers to comply with the Employment Act 1955 (Act 265) after complaints by some workers that they have not been paid by their employers. Act 265 also stipulates that wage payments have to be made through bank accounts — the exception needs a request from the employee and permission from the Director General of the Department of Labor of Peninsular Malaysia as stated under Section 25A(1) of the same law.

TIL — Withheld wages or unpaid earnings are one of the eleven indicators of forced labour, as outlined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

PM Anwar Ibrahim was in hot soup after presiding over a religious conversion ceremony last weekThe Muslim Welfare Organisation Malaysia (Perkim) leader from Klang clarified that the conversion was not pre-planned but done spontaneously when Anwar was at the Ar-Rahimiah Mosque for Friday prayers. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) criticised Anwar over the matter, citing Article 11 of the Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion for the people. KLSCAH said Anwar should not openly preside over religious conversion ceremonies for individuals of other ethnicities.


  1. The High Court’s Appellate and Special Power division has approved Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s judicial review request to overturn a tax assessment of RM3.977 bil for the years 2015 to 2017. The court agreed with TNB's argument that its electricity manufacturing business entitles it to claim reinvestment allowance on its capital expenditure for expanding, modernising, and automating its operations. This is one of the largest tax disputes resolved by the courts.

  2. Ramssol Group Bhd, a human resources (HR) solutions provider, saw its share price reach a seven-month high after it was revealed that Top Glove Corp Bhd founder and executive chairman Lim Wee Chai is a substantial shareholder. At yesterday’s close, Ramssol saw 31.43 mil shares change hands, which was more than 10-fold its 200-day average volume of 1.83 mil shares. It closed at 40.5 sen against its last closing price of 35.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM99.3 mil.

  3. Iris Corp Bhd said its wholly-owned Iris Information Technology Systems Sdn Bhd (IITS) decided to challenge the termination of its RM1.12 bil National Identification Integrated Solutions (NIISe) contract. In February this year, reports emerged about the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating the award of a government contract to a former prime minister's son-in-law. The contract in question was believed to be related to the development of NIISe.

  4. Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas Malaysia) granted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the government over its operating license conditions that prohibit the import and processing of lanthanide concentrate after January 1, 2024. The authorities are concerned about the radioactive waste stemming from the process.


  1. Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil will be meeting local mobile network operators (MNO) to discuss the surcharge for users who want to use the 5G network. A few MNOs in Malaysia require subscribers to pay an additional premium ranging between RM3 and RM20 on top of existing phone bills to get access to the 5G network. Even the minister’s wife questioned him why the need to pay extra when the upgrade from 3G to 4G was free. View table: Malaysian telcos’ 5G plan comparisons

  2. PSA for the Subang Jaya residents — the city is celebrating its third anniversary of attaining the city status hence it is running a RM10 flat rate offer for the selected parking and traffic compounds for three months from October. So keep your summons till Oct 1.


Thailand welcomes two PMs - one to parliament, another to jailThai property tycoon Srettha Thavisin of the election runner-up party Pheu Thai is now the new Prime Minister of Thailand, putting an end to 3 months of political deadlock. Srettha saw a decisive win during the parliamentary vote, with 482 of 727 voting for the 60-year-old. Of note is that Pheu Thai was founded by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who left Thailand on a self-imposed exile in 2008, though he remained influential in Thai politics.Read: Profile of billionaire and former PM Thaksin Shinawatra

However, Pheu Thai took the prime ministership through a coalition that included pro-military factions in parliament, which led to a refusal of cooperation by the election-winning Move Forward party, a slap in the face for pro-democracy voters. Previously, Move Forward and Pheu Thai were part of the same coalition opposing the entrenched military-backed rule of the country.

Thaksin also returned to Thailand, ending his 15-year-long exile, just as the Thai parliament was readying for the vote. The telecommunications tycoon was sentenced to eight years in jail by the Thai Supreme Court for corruption and abuse of power during his reign as prime minister, passed on to him in absentia. One of the charges was of Thaksin altering contracts for his company, SHIN Corp, to give the company an unfair advantage. Thaksin also owned the Manchester City Football Club back in 2007, right before the corruption charges. He sold the club to Sheik Mansour of Abu Dhabi for a reported GBP200 mil little more than 12 months after buying it.

Softbank’s Arm reveals modest 1% revenue drop before IPO amid its concerns about China's volatilitySoftBank-owned chipmaker Arm revealed a 1% drop in annual revenue for the year ended March 31, for a total of USD 2.68 bil, with sales hit by a drop in global smartphone shipments. This comes ahead of the firm’s US IPO, the biggest in nearly two years. The listing on Nasdaq is expected to be a booster shot to the IPO market, which has been lukewarm due to market volatility. SoftBank is looking for a valuation of up to USD70 bil for the company in the IPO, a step up from the failed deal to sell Arm to Nvidia for USD40 bil. At USD70 bil, that’s one hell of an expensive multiple of 26x its revenue. 

However, the IPO faces a “litany of risks” from China, a market that makes up a quarter or 24% of Arm’s revenue. Among the risks listed include the downward spiral for Asia’s largest economy, rising political tensions between China and the US, and the potential complete loss of control over its Chinese subsidiary, which Arm or SoftBank does not control, but instead by local investors.

Previously, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son acquired Arm for USD32 bil in 2016, calling it a “crystal ball for the future of tech”, believing Arm to be a leader as the push to AI accelerated. However, Son bet on having computers embedded in everyday life. Instead, graphics chips like those sold by Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) became the highlight. Speaking of Nvidia, the firm saw its shares rise prior to the release of its quarterly results, with investors expecting good news due to Nvidia being the biggest beneficiary in artificial intelligence.

Son actually did own about a 5% stake in Nvidia, which he sold for about USD3.6 bil in early 2019. Had he kept it, that stake would be worth almost USD60 bil today. 

Activision to sell streaming rights to Ubisoft in a bid for British anti-trust regulator approval for Microsoft dealGame studio Activision Blizzard will be selling its cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft Entertainment in a new bid to win approval from Britain’s anti-trust regulator for its USD69 bil sale to Microsoft.

By selling its streaming rights, Activision’s intellectual properties like “Overwatch” and “Diablo” will no longer be available for Microsoft to release on its own cloud streaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming, or for Microsoft to control the licensing terms exclusively. Instead, Ubisoft will have those rights for the next 15 years globally except in Europe, where it will instead get a non-exclusive licence to meet European regulations. Microsoft believes that this move will get the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority to allow the Activision acquisition by October 18.


  1. Ecuador rejects oil drilling in protected zone in historic voteEcuadorian voters passed a referendum to prohibit oil drilling in a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, with almost 60% supporting the ban on oil development in Yasuni National Park. The area is described as one of the world’s greatest havens of biodiversity, the home of several Indigenous communities, and the location of some of Ecuador’s largest oil deposits. Ecuador’s energy minister said the nation would lose about USD1.2 bil annually with this move.

  2. Potential USD9.6 bil for Subway could finalise this weekThe buyer was identified as Roark Capital, also the owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Baskin-Robbins, and Dunkin’. Previously, it was reported that private equity firms TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners were in talks to acquire Subway, but the sandwich chain remained uncertain if the TDR-Sycamore partnership would be able to meet Subway’s price expectations. Subway has been owned by the 2 founding families since it was founded in 1965.

  3. New York City proposes converting empty office buildings into affordable housingAs remote working becomes a structural trend, New York City officials are proposing to convert empty office buildings to provide as many as 20,000 homes to 40,000 New Yorkers. Empty office buildings has been a growing issues across US cities. Manhattan in New York City has seen the amount of office space available to rent hit a record high in the first part of 2023.


  1. Not all SPACs have a happy ending; lately, most don’t. We reported in our Monday issue that VinFast Auto Ltd saw its share price plummet after a strong debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market last Tuesday.

  2. The winners of the Corporate Green Power Programme (CGPP) summarised by Stockbit. 563.42MW out of the total 800MW quota have been snapped up — who will get the remaining? CGPP is an initiative, a creative one we must say, for corporates to virtually purchase green energy.